Deschutes River Canyon: Death of a Bull Trout

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OnTheFly

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I had only known about Bull Trout being in the Deschutes as of last year when Eggs informed me about it. During a last years trip to the Metolius I caught a fish that I believed to be a bull but after a little research and comparing photographs, it ended up to be a just very dark Brown trout. So from that experiance, I now know how to positvely identify Bull Trout.

Trout Creek: Friday, May 13th
My son Cody and I decided to get out of town and spend some time fly fishing at Trout Creek on the Deschutes River. We arrived at the camp ground about 5pm. and did not waste time setting up our stuff but instead we prepared to fish. The campground was nearly full and the sound of crunching gravel as people walked by our spot became something to ignore except one, when somebody stopped and asked me a question. "Hey can you tell me what kind of fish this is?" I turned around and a guy was holding up a very large fish. He was handling the fish with only one hand and holding it tightly by squeezing it just under the gills. I noticed the guy only had one good arm so this was the only way he could carry it. As I approached I also noticed the treble hook lure still stuck in the fishes mouth. I told him it was a nice fish but it was a bull trout and should not have kept it. He then set the fish on the ground (in the dry grass) and to my amazement it was still alive and started to flop around. He asked us to help him remove the lure so he could return it to the water but I new it was too late.

The next day I met up with the guy again and asked about the fish and, as I expected, the fish didn't make it. He told me he did not waste it though and him and his family dined on it that night.

So I learned two things from all this: #1 Educate as many people as you can about the regulations and propper release methods of fish and #2 Bull Trout is a delicious tasting fish but a taste I will never know.:cool:

Troutcreek006


As Ninja would say 'The money shot!'
Troutcreek003


Troutcreek002 1


All fish caught on these little beauties.
P1000525
 
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brandon4455

brandon4455

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very nice report jim. beautiful fish too. can't go wrng with a bead head prince! too bad about that bull trout..very sad story :(
 
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fish4life

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We have kept a couple of bull trout out of lake billy chinook where it is legal to harvest them, as far as I'm concerned they are not the best eating and have released all others we have caught.
 
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lilsalmon

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Too bad about the bull trout....Cool that you and Cody got to hit the Big D....see any snakes? Bigsteel and I are headin down south tomorrow early. not sure which water we are going to try out....the Klamath is blown I guess...grrrrrr Nice fish pic. We will be back on the Deschutes in a couple of weeks with Brian Silvey.
 
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Yohan

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Nice report. I'm hoping to get over there soon as well...

#1 Educate as many people as you can about the regulations and propper release methods of fish

100% agree!

But as far a bull trout...
...as far as I'm concerned they are not the best eating

100% agree, although they are fun to catch.
 
troutdude

troutdude

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Awesome report and glad you guys had a good time on the D.

And I'll give you rep points for the nice BEAVERS hat!
 
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Kais

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What size BH prince nymphs do you use?
 
O

OnTheFly

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We have kept a couple of bull trout out of lake billy chinook where it is legal to harvest them, as far as I'm concerned they are not the best eating and have released all others we have caught.
I wonder if at different times of the year makes a difference in their taste. Friend of mine mentioned once that brown trout taste better early in the year than they do later.:think:

What size BH prince nymphs do you use?
If I remember right I tied them on a #10 hook and using an 1/8th" tungsten gold bead.

Awesome report and glad you guys had a good time on the D.

And I'll give you rep points for the nice BEAVERS hat!
Hey thanks!! X2!!:cool:
 
T

TTFishon

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Nice report OTF! Too bad for the bull though but at least it was killed through ignorance and not a blatant disregard of the rules.
 
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GDBrown

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Nice report Jim, glad to see that you and your son get out fishing as much as you do. I really wish my son had been more interested in fishing while he was still living at home. Now I have to travel almost 1000 miles to see him and take him fishing. I'm planning a Stillwater fly trip for the next week or two east of the mountains. After reading the report from Sinkline about their trip I thought it would be a good one man trip for me.

Like too many fisherman nowadays, your encounter with a bull trout was due to lack of experience and poor judgement. I have learned that when I catch a fish and don't know for sure what it is I put it back in the water. That may mean I put a trophy or a invader back but at least I don't change whats there. That being said.... I know a carp when I see one! LOL
 
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eggs

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Goooood times.. nothing like a good father son outing! Man we neeed some big bugs!

R.I.P. Bull Trout... they know not what they did.. I hope you spawned well this last fall.
 
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Sinkline

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Enjoyed the report and photos but I have to admit it kinda angered me. Ignorance is no excuse and the fellow who killed the Bull trout should not be fishing if he can not identify his catch! I know that sounds harsh but this kind of thing happens far to often and it shouldn't! Some people just flat don't care and for those, they choose to be poachers. Others just need to be responsible and learn before fishing!!!


Randy
 
T

troutramp

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well eggs I wish I had known you were going to be there, I was there friday and saturday. I Also heard of the Bull trout that was caught and not releasedI also saw a guy catch and keep a 14-15 inch rainbow on a rooster tail with a treble hook I informed him that both were illeagal. He acted suprised, but I was not totally convinced he was not aware of the regulations. I notified him that there was a sign that was posted and contained the regulations for the river there. I saw a few salmon flies and thew a big stimi and had a few hits, but the fish were too small to hook up. I ended up catching and landing a white fish on a stone fly nymph.
 
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n8r1

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Awesome report and glad you guys had a good time on the D.

And I'll give you rep points for the nice BEAVERS hat!

...and I'll take those rep points away! Go Ducks!

(just kidding, I didn't take any rep points away)

But in my opinion, this picture of me on the Deschutes last week was much better:
 

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O

OnTheFly

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well eggs I wish I had known you were going to be there, I was there friday and saturday.
Eggs and I have been there a few times together but on this trip it was just my son and I. Did you happen to see a white ford F150 with a white canopy? That was us.
 
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troutramp

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Eggs and I have been there a few times together but on this trip it was just my son and I. Did you happen to see a white ford F150 with a white canopy? That was us.

whoooops, Got you an eggs confused now how could I have done that? I saw a few Fords .I think I remember you guys camped Kinda toward the boat ramp? I will remember the prince nymph now I hardly use that fly, now I will have an excuse to try and tie some. Any Idea when the salmon fly hatch comes OFF in earnest? that could be fun.
 
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T

Thuggin4Life

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Nice report. too bad about the bull. I have also eaten bull trout and i wont do it again.
 
brandon4455

brandon4455

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...and I'll take those rep points away! Go Ducks!

(just kidding, I didn't take any rep points away)

But in my opinion, this picture of me on the Deschutes last week was much better:
you sir are covered in the best oregon sports team :clap:
 
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GDBrown

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Confused

Confused

.......I also saw a guy catch and keep a 14-15 inch rainbow on a rooster tail with a treble hook I informed him that both were illegal.......

I'm a little confused on why you say that BOTH were illegal? I know the fish was too large but from my reading of the regulations the whole river is open to the use of artificial flies and lures. Is a roostertail not a lure? Or does it have to do with the treble hook? I'm not saying you are wrong, I just don't want to make the same mistake when I'm over there. I have been known to use roostertails with great success from time to time. I usually bend the barbs down so I can release smaller fish if I'm not intending to keep them where ever I'm at.
 
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jimmy

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I'm a little confused on why you say that BOTH were illegal? I know the fish was too large but from my reading of the regulations the whole river is open to the use of artificial flies and lures. Is a roostertail not a lure? .

I have the regs in front of me,

"two trout per day between 10 and 13 inches, restricted to artificial flys and lures only"

if you must throw a rooster please drop a single barbless hook on the back of it. . . and you'll catch fish, I swear you dont need the mouth crippleing grapple hook they come equiped with. If your looking to harvest fish, I beg you to leave this strain of fantastic wild fish alone, those 10-13 inch fish grow up into 18-24 inch fish quickly, and you'll have a better chance of meeting them again if you dont give em the 'fryin pan treatment'

thanks 'Onthefly' for throwing out some education about the bull/dolly/char trout I wish more folks knew about em and knew what they mean to the river.
very few waterways are bull trout compatible and that's a damn shame. . .

for those who would like to learn more see: Fish and Wildlife Service

thanks to GDbrown for asking, REPS to Ontheflly for bringing up the topic. . .
 

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